Here’s my review of 2021 in my life in the hopes it may help, encourage, inspire you. This was a super-tough year in many ways. For me, the worst of it was continued social isolation and being cut off from so much of what I love to do. On top of that, being infuriated and deeply pained by the ongoing corruption, greed, lies, and desecration of our planet from the powers-that-be.
But what I want to focus on here is the other stuff. The (mostly) good stuff. What I did, what I learned, what I loved.
Upleveling my Environment
We got a hot tub in March. Wow, was that a good purchase.
I also got a comfy, ergonomic recliner for my studio. No more sitting on the floor on a foam pad, doing my writing. And Don, my hubby, found two huge bookcases for $40 at a yard sale for me.
This has utterly transformed my studio. Since I pretty much live in my studio during the weekdays during the pandemic, this was a particularly great and needed upgrade. As you can see, my cat Obi-Wan has taken over the recliner.
My Artistic Life
I finished the first draft of 50-page book proposal for the book I am writing on how to live a flourishing creative life. And polished 100 pages of sample chapters from the book to include with the proposal.
I continued to write, hone, and shape the book all year. I’m so proud of myself for this. I took an amazingly helpful book proposal course and an intensive online book retreat, and took the month of August mostly off from teaching, to do this. I couldn’t have done it without all that support of the course and retreat.
I attended a virtual poetry workshop and met my awesome poetry buddy, Sandra. We have been meeting monthly ever since to help each other polish our poems and to discuss our writing lives. So wonderful and helpful.
I read 40 books last year, and parts of some others, including 17 books of poetry and 4 books on the craft of writing. I’m hoping to do a separate post on my favorite books of the year. Stay tuned.
The Sierra Poetry Festival was a huge highlight. Two days of incredible poets reading their work and leading workshops and having thrilling conversations. I felt so inspired by it.
Investing in Self, Investing in Help
That’s one of the big things I learned in 2021. Investing in myself in terms of taking courses, hiring healers, and working with coaches pays off in spades. (If you choose well.) It’s necessary and makes a huge difference. And it’s a dance to do that on my income.
I learned the hard way that I should have probably hired help sooner with a redesign of my website. I spent all year researching, thinking about it, mapping it, trying to find a designer I could afford. Then, trying to do it myself and getting lost in an endless rabbit hole that was not a good use of my time. In the end I had to hire someone anyway to help me with the difficult technical aspects. And the new site is just barely under construction now. Sheesh!
My Teaching Biz
My classes and coaching and the amazing people in them continue to be a highlight a salvation in these hard times. I feel very blessed and honored to do the work I do.
It was not a good year for my business in terms of income or growth of subscribers. It was also not a good year for me getting poems published in literary journals—I only had two. I just couldn’t keep everything going. But I did give 12 readings and/or radio interviews in 2021, all online, meeting wonderful poets and poetry lovers. You can watch a favorite one here.
I was overwhelmed with so many irons in the fire. Teaching and running my business, trying to keep up with my blog and Patreon. Writing my book (as well as poems) and writing a book proposal for the first time. Helping put on Sierra Poetry Festival. And doing a lot of deep inner work.
The inner work (or play) was a highlight too. With Taya Shere I began a process of Jewish Ancestral Healing, meeting some of my ancestors. I also binge-watched as much of Thomas Hubl’s Collective Trauma Summit as I could. I feel deeply inspired by this work. To my surprise, I already use some of the tools in my teaching! I feel this is a vital piece of where the next evolution of my work is taking me—using the arts and play (and ritual and depth work) to help humanity heal from collective trauma.
So, that’s it in a bit more than a nutshell. I hope this inspires you to look back on your year and harvest what was good, what you learned, what you loved. And to dream what’s possible for you in the year ahead. I’m wishing you an inspiring, fulfilling year.